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Digital Art Licensing: What’s Legal and What Isn’t?

Found a great paper on the Tubes today about digital reproductions of artwork by museums, and what copyright protections they hold. The question is: Does making a digital copy of a work of art entitle a museum to certain copyright protections and licensing rights, or do they remain with the artist (or artist’s estate, or original propertyholder)? What is the letter of the law, and what is the spirit of the law?

These are questions that Kenneth D. Crews and Melissa A. Brown of Columbia University ask in “Control of Museum Art Images: The Reach and Limits of Copyright and Licensing,” available here. It’s well worth the 20 minutes or so it’ll take to read. Tell us what you think in the comments.

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